The Lion City sates everyone’s appetite. When it comes to food, the Singaporeans mean business. Name the cuisine, they have it. Name your budget, they’ll match it. Restaurants are all over this city and in just about every corner, a hawker’s place.
Good food joints are easy to spot, just watch out for the long queues. Locals are willing to wait to enjoy a good meal even at expense of losing precious minutes of their break time waiting for their turn on the table.
Here are some servings you and your barkada might want to try when you find yourselves in the Merlion’s city this summer.
Victory Restaurant 705 North Bridge Road, Arab Street.
It’s an Indian/Moslem place so the food is Halal. Specialty dishes are the Biryani, a set rice dish with fried/roasted chicken, beef, mutton or sardine, and the Murtabak, pancake stuffed with chicken, mutton, beef or fish. The noodle dish, Meegoreng, is a nice addition that can compliment your meal. (See photos above, row 1). To complete the dining experience, try the Teh Tarik, which literally means “pulled tea”, a hot drink of black tea and condensed milk. That is, if you like your beverage sweet.
The Ice Cream Man 7 Haji Lane.
This lane lined with hip fashionista shophouses-turned-boutiques is the other must-visit in the Arab area, and the confection parlor here is a must-try. Freshly made daily, the TICM ice cream flavors are fun and original- Red Bull Sorbet, Almond Milo, Root Beer Float and even Tom Yam , Wasabi and Nachos. Since flavors change on a daily basis, each day brings a surprise from the couple who runs the place. (See photos above, row 2).
Jumbo Restaurant 48 The Riverwalk.
After a cruise along the famed waterway of Singapore at sunset, this seafood Chinese restaurant is a good choice to have dinner by the same river. Quite popular among the locals and expats, and comes highly recommended to visitors, the place is always packed with diners. Queuing for a table won’t eat up your time since the turnover of diners is quick, the very efficient service from the kitchen to the crew is to be credited.
The Jumbo Chili Crab is a house specialty- Sri Lankan crab stir fried in rich savory chili gravy served with Man-Tou, deep-fried buns. But before you gorge into this, try a few from a wide offering first- a refreshing Lobster with Dragon Fruit Salad to start, the lip-smacking Fried Prawns with Cereal, and the Asparagus with Scallop. (See photos above, row 3). All dishes get a thumb up.
St. James Power Station Beer Garden 3 Sentosa Gateway
is an after-five R&R spot for the office crowd. This all-in-one entertainment destination sits on the Singapore’s first coal-fired power station built in 1927. Served are liquor, wine and beers in a wide variety of labels and flavors. Food offerings are mainly items to complement the drinking spree-Satay in duck, chicken and beef, while the hot noodle soup bowl is the bestseller after hours of chugging in the wee hours of the morning. (See photos above, row 4).
PS Café 45 Ann Siang Road.
Sitting on top of a verdant Ann Siang Hill gives this restaurant a quiet, romantic feel making it an ideal place to woo a date or a client. That is, if you don’t mind the heavy lunch crowd it draws from the financial district it’s in. Although it has become popular for its variety of specialty cakes, the savories on the menu du jour and regular menu are as equally pleasurable. The Virgin Mojito is a refreshing drink to cool you down as you wait for the Truffle Shoestring Fries (divine even sans the dips). The PS Caesar (salad) is a nice way to start followed by the well-liked and deliciously filling Chargrilled Cheeseburger (Wagyu and US Chuck patty). (See photos above, row 5). There are more dishes worth going back. Leave room for PS Café’s magnificent desserts- the Black Forest Profiteroles is a winner.
TWG Salon 2/F Ion Mall, Orchard Road.
Along with your tea from the 400+ flavors TWG cabinet, a tome of knowledge is served. Read through the TWG Tea Book over sconces with jelly and cream, it’s “tea-nteresting”.
The TWG creations, from savories to desserts on the menu, to the macarons and chocolates (and even candles!) to take away, everything is infused with tea. Try the refreshing Lobster Timbale, Wagyu Burger (a bestseller) and TWG Tea Salad with foie gras (see photos above, row 6), each dish can be accompanied by an appropriate tea flavor. For dessert, the Crème Brulee with Crust of Strawberry is a wonderful surprise.
You can’t resist not taking home a bag of tea, a box of macarons when you exit. Want some? Don’t worry, TWG is opening shop in the Philippines soon.
Published in Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 12, 2012.